No room in the inn: Rolling Stones' Israel gig lands on religious holiday
Neither wild horses – nor the late-ending Shavuot holiday – will keep some religiously observant Rolling Stones fans away from their June 4 show in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park, even if it ends up costing them a pretty penny.
The British legends will be playing in Israel for the first time as part of their European tour, hitting the stage with the strains of one of their classic hits just as Shavuot ends.
Although Bayit Yehudi MK Nissan Slomiansky wrote a letter to promoter Shuki Weiss saying the close proximity of the show to the holiday would force police and Tel Aviv Municipality workers to desecrate the holiday, other observant fans are taking some extreme steps to both keep the holiday and also see one of their favorite bands.
“We understand the Rolling Stones’ schedule so we’re not upset about it. We understand, so we’re not holding any hard feelings, we just wanted to make sure we’d be able to enjoy both the holiday and the concert,” said Debbie Zimelman, a photographer from Modi’in who plans to obtain a short-term rental in Tel Aviv for Shavuot so she, her husband and their two teenage sons will be able to walk to the show.
“We heard rumors a few days before they announced it that it would be on Shavout and we started looking online to see where we could stay before the concert was even announced,” said Zimelman. “We didn’t really want be at home and be in tension all Shavuot and not to enjoy the holiday.”
Many looking for a deal on a place to stay have gone to the website airbnb.com for help in looking for inexpensive lodgings over Shavuot , and there have been reports that some residents of Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv are planning to rent out their apartments at exorbitant prices and stay with family elsewhere to cash in on the demand for housing close to Park Hayarkon where the show is taking place.
Concert publicist Nidar Oz said that there would be coordination in the coming weeks with area hotels to offer discount packages for concertgoers.
The promised lowered fares are sure to be music to the ears of Stones fans who are already paying hundreds of shekels per ticket to see the veteran band belt out “Honky Tonk Women” and “Brown Sugar.”
Longtime fan Alan Abbey said he’s not finalized his arrangements, but plans to stay in Tel Aviv for the concert and holiday.
“We will likely go to Tel Aviv beforehand and rent an apartment or hotel room based on pricing and location,” said Abbey, director of media and Internet services at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
“Friends of mine have found a very nice apartment off Airbnb.com so we may use that.”
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to hear the greatest rock and roll band in the world, that I wouldn’t miss. My wife and my friends and I are all looking forward to this with great anticipation,” said Abbey. “To overuse a line from the Rolling Stones they say you can’t always get what you want but if you try, sometime you find you get what you need and I think that is in fact what’s coming through this time for us.”